1862: Henry Green to a Dear Friend

An unidentified member of the 72nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (Baxter’s Fire Zouaves) shown wearing the distinctive Zouave uniform which consisted of a Zouave jacket trimmed with red, sky-blue trousers with a red stripe down the leg, and a dark blue kepi.

The following letter was written by Henry Green (1841-1914), a barely literate member of Co. I, 72nd Pennsylvania, Baxter Fire Zouaves who enlisted and mustered into the regiment on 10 August 1861 and was discharged at Falmouth on 11 April 1863. Presumably he was with the regiment through the Battle of Fredericksburg. His reason for a discharge was not given on the muster rolls.

“The regiment was recruited from fireman from various points throughout Philadelphia and would go on to earn themselves an admirable war record. Taking part in the Peninsular Campaign, they would see their first bit of fighting during the Battle of Seven Pines.  It would be followed up in rapid succession with the battles of the Seven Days before Richmond, Savage Station and the Peach Orchard, Malvern Hill and Chantilly. The regiment would suffer relatively light casualties despite the constant fighting. They would not be so lucky at Antietam. Fighting along the West Woods, nearly half of the regiment engaged would be lost losing over 200 men in the hotly contested fight. The 72nd would end the year with the Battle of Fredericksburg and the loss of a handful more men from the regiment.” [Civil War Image Shop who sold the image]


The patriotic heading of Henry’s Stationery

Adamstown, [Frederick County,] Maryland
January 15 [1862]

My Dear Friend,

I take the pleasure of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well and I hope this will find you the same. We have got a nice time of it for we have [a] nice tent with 20 men in. Each company has got 5 tents and they have got a stove in [them]. And we have got new rifles and we are going to get new suits of clothes. They are to be like the New York Zouaves. We are to have red pants and blue jackets and red caps.

We have got a nice time of it. We expect to be paid next week. We want 6 men in our company now. Bill Childress is driving team now and you might get a chance to [en]list in our company now. They are recruiting for the regiment and if you want to [en]list in Company I, you can now. Chalkley Garret is driving team and Aushurst teamster is driving too. Handerson Hipple lost his money. Joe Thomas and Bill Allison and all the boys send their best respects to you and all the rest of their friends. Mike Costic sends his best respect to you and says you [should en]list. This is all I’ve got to say at present. I remain your friend, — Henry Green

You must answer this letter as soon as you get it. Direct your letter to Adamstown, Maryland in care of Capt. [Henry A.] Cook, Company I, Baxter Fire Zouaves

Recruiting Poster for Co. Baxter’s Philadelphia Fire Zouaves
(The Library Company of Philadelphia)

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